Thursday, October 11, 2012

Jan's Updates October 11, 2012

Westmoreland Marcellus Citizens’ Group Updates October 10, 2012
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Calendar of Events
***Community Forum on Act 13 –This Monday
6:30-8:30 PM, Monday, October 15,
Murrysville Community Center
3091 Carson Avenue
Murrysville, PA 15668
Presentations will include:
Act 13 Environmental Impacts by Steve Hvodzovich, Clean Water Action
  Act 13 Municipal Impacts
  Act 13 Accountability/Scorecard – Josh McNeil, League of Conservation Voters
Elected officials and candidates will then discuss Act 13           
Question and answer period
Optional phone bank to call state legislators. 
For more information, contact Melissa at Mountain Watershed Association,
724-455-4200 ext. 6#  or
Act 13 is Pennsylvania's controversial new oil and gas law, which stripped local governments of their right to plan where natural gas drilling operation can happen in their communities. In July, portions of this new law were challenged by local township government officials, a Monroeville doctor, and Delaware Riverkeeper, and subsequently overturned by the Commonwealth Court and declared “unconstitutional.”
But the battle continues, as Governor Tom Corbett and his administration appealed the Commonwealth Court decision. These two sides, will argue their cases before the state Supreme Court on Wednesday, October 17th in Pittsburgh.
Many other municipalities and organizations have filed amicus briefs in support of the Commonwealth Court’s decision that preemption of local municipal control over shale gas extraction is unconstitutional, including the American Planning Association (PA Chapter), the PA Association of Boroughs (PSAB), the PA Association of Township Officials (PSATS), Clean Water Action, Mountain Watershed Association, Murrysville Council, Monroeville Council, Pittsburgh City Council, and the Sierra Club.
***PA Supreme Court Hears Act 13 Case-This Wednesday [Picture]
Wednesday, October 17, 2012 - courtroom doors open at 9:00am Hearings begin at 9:30 a.m.
414 Grant St., 8th floor, Pittsburgh, PA 15219
Our case is FOURTH on the list of hearings/arguments
The hearings/arguments are UN-TIMED – so we can’t predict when ours will be heard. Clerk of the PA Supreme Court says space is limited, seating is first come, first serve. Standing will be allowed. The Clerk said they’re getting calls EVERY DAY on this case & expect many spectators.
Please invite people to attend, whether for 1/2 hr. or longer.
We hope to demonstrate widespread support for KEEPING OUR TOWNS' ZONING POWER IN OUR HANDS!
***County Commissioners Meeting- 2nd and 4th Thursday of the month at the County Courthouse at 10:00 AM
***HB 2224-- Bad for PA Parks
UPDATE on VERY BAD HB 2224 which would give cash-strapped municipalities the right to liquidate our public parks for cash!!! CALL and/or e-mail your PA state rep and senator and tell them that that you oppose this vehemently!!!
The Pennsylvania Recreation and Parks Society is urging the public to contact legislators to vote against the bill warning that the bill risks green spaces by permitting county and local governments to sell parks for cash, and it “violates the trust and good faith of landowners who donated property for a dollar or sold property to the government at a bargain price with assurances that the land would be used for a public purpose; forces generous landowners to second guess whether they should sell their land at a bargain price for a good cause; compromises farmland preservation protections provided to family farms; and discards the fair and balanced process local governments have used since 1959 to determine whether public land can be sold.”
To Take ActionEmail state reps and senators. Addresses can be found by using the legislators address link at the top of the newsletter.
***Support a Moratorium on Further Shale Gas Extraction in Pennsylvania." (From credo)
Will you join the push to stop the fracking industry from poisoning Pennsylvania's air and water? Tell the Pennsylvania Legislature: Pass a moratorium on fracking.
Clicking here will automatically add your name to this petition to the Pennsylvania legislature: CLICK HERE for petition
Groundwater contamination and cancer-causing air pollution, constant noise and countless diesel trucks, giant ponds full of radioactive wastewater, and chemical spills. This is Pennsylvania's fracking boom, and it's high time we shut it down.
Fracking is inherently dangerous. Air emissions from fracking put nearby residents at greater risk of cancer, as well as a slew of neurologic and respiratory illnesses. Fracking generates millions of gallons of toxic, radioactive wastewater, which an spill and contaminate drinking water. Some people living near gas wells have found heavy metals like arsenic and carcinogenic toxins like benzene in their blood.
It's an unavoidable fact: The state of Pennsylvania has totally failed to protect its citizens from fracking. And it's no mystery why: Since 2000, the industry has given almost $8 million to Pennsylvania's elected officials, including a jaw-dropping $1.8 million to Governor Tom Corbett.
Fracking Quotes
*** The initial report was little more than corporate cheerleading under a Penn State banner. Bogle, a retired Lycoming college art professor, referring to research report on the economic impacts of drilling which was sponsored by the industry.
*** Independence- rather than assessments through a body that is an organ of the state's political apparatus- is the best way to ensure that the health study is comprehensive, disinterested and in the broad public interestthe Republican Herald opinion piece on the composition of a health study panel in PA
*** The DEP recently issued a permit authorizing the use of flowback salts from fracking “as a deicer, for roadway dust suppression and for soil stabilization. DEP’s public notice of the permit application, however, described it as seeking approval for a wastewater treatment process, not for spreading wastes generated by that process.Penn Future.
Frack Videos
***Senator Ferlo’s Comments at the PA Capitol Rally calling for Moratorium on Gas Drilling-
***Cancer Rise in Barnett Shale-Residents Want Answers
Cancer clusters in Texas of leukemia in children and breast cancer in women
Good work Jefferson Hills and Upper Burrell !!!!!
1. Jefferson Hills Passes Resolution Supporting Local Control
Jefferson Hills Council unanimously passed a resolution supporting local zoning control of oil and gas drilling and the amicus curae briefs filed by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and the PA Chapter of the American Planning Association.
2. Upper Burrell Signs as Friend of the Court
Upper Burrell Township signed off on its resolution supporting the "friend of the court," amicus last Monday, Oct. 1, 2012. It was signed by all three supervisors and sent off to John Smith.
What: LAWPA response to the PA Supreme Court’s decision
Date: October 17, 2012
Time: Immediately following the hearing
Where: Outside of the court room, 414 Grant St., 8th floor, Pittsburgh, PA 15219
Contact: Wanda Guthrie/LAWPA 412.596.0066; Ron Slabe/LAWPA – 724.989.4995
As the PA legislature drafted and then passed Act 13 earlier this year, Pennsylvanians from across SWPA came together to counter Act 13. “We are shocked that our rights to zone at the local level were so easily swept away by our legislators - the very people who are sworn to protect us,” said Wanda Guthrie of Westmoreland County.
The group quickly coalesced into Local Authority Western PA (LAWPA), adding grassroots groups from eight counties in SWPA, including Allegheny, Butler, Washington, Westmoreland. Members come from rural, suburban and urban municipalities.
***LAWPA is calling on members to attend the PA Supreme Court’s hearing of arguments on October 17, 2012. LAWPA is in support of the lawsuit brought by several municipalities and individuals challenging Act 13’s elimination of municipal zoning rights. The group will comment on the court’s decision after the hearing.***
“LAWPA defends the right of each PA municipality, rather than gas drillers, to determine what constitutes a ‘reasonable risk’,” said Bob Schmetzer of Beaver County
“This is just the tip of the iceberg, we are being colonized by the drilling industry,” said Diane Sipe of Butler County. Elizabeth Donohoe of Allegheny County added: “Act 13 opens the door for other heavy industry to do the same – all at the expense of every PA town’s right to zone within its borders.”
“We came together around the belief that the passage of Act 13 defies common sense,” said Ron Slabe of Upper Burrell. “How can the legislature conclude that it’s o.k. to allow drilling in our residential areas, right next to schools, hospitals and homes?”
“We do not stand alone”, Ms. Guthrie stated, “LAWPA joins all who have publicly stated their opposition to Act 13, including: PSATS, the City Councils of both Pittsburgh and Philadelphia, Mountain Watershed Assn., towns in Washington, Bucks, Westmoreland, Allegheny, Northampton and Lehigh Counties, the PA Chapter American Planning Assn., Damascus Citizens for Sustainability (Wayne County), Gas Drilling Awareness Coalition (Luzerne County), League of Women Voters of PA, Lehigh Valley Gas Truth, and the Responsible Drilling Alliance (Lycoming County).”
4. DEP Sec. Krancer Defends Not Aggregating Pollution from Compressor Stations
Stations Will Be Considered Individually to Avoid Stricter Pollution Laws
“Our guidance provides a common-sense approach to air aggregation, also known as single-source determinations, based on existing law,” Krancer said. The court’s opinion in Summit Petroleum v. EPA, which dealt with the aggregation of separate natural gas facilities in Michigan, made very clear that Pennsylvania’s approach is the correct interpretation and application of the law,” he said.
5. Frack Brine Used as De Icer--Penn Future Appeals
The Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) recently issued a permit authorizing the use of flowback salts from fracking “as a deicer, for roadway dust suppression and for soil stabilization.” DEP’s public notice of the permit application, however, described it as seeking approval for a wastewater treatment process, not for spreading wastes generated by that process. Today's Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports on PennFuture's appeal before the Environmental Hearing Board seeking to invalidate the permit and to protect the public’s right to be heard before a permit of such public importance is issued.
Contrary to what DEP is saying, PennFuture is not attacking the practice of recycling wastewater. As our appeal makes crystal clear, we are challenging DEP’s violation of its own public participation regulations.
6. Health Study Funding Killed By Corbett-Now Scarnati Tries to Control Health Panel by Appointing the Panel
Pennsylvania continues to fly blind regarding the public health consequences of large-scale natural gas production. Without data about drilling's consequences, lawmakers and regulators have no way of knowing whether the wide berth they have provided the industry, on matters ranging from environmental regulation, to taxation to local zoning, is the best public policy.
This year the Legislature and Gov. Tom Corbett killed a planned appropriation that would have provided for a long-term, independent expert study across the breadth of the Marcellus Shale gas fields, by the largest health care providers in those regions, Geisinger Health System and Guthrie Health System.
Now Sen. Joseph Scarnati, president pro tem of the Senate, (Scarnati is the Senator who has tried to sign on to protect Act 13 in the lawsuit filed against it, jan) plans to introduce a bill to establish a panel - comprising gubernatorial and legislative appointees - to study public health issues relative to the gas industry. The nine-member group would include physicians, scientists and, for some reason, representatives of the gas industry, which already has substantial influence over the state government.
Rather than attempting to assess the crucial public health issue through a politically appointed body, the Legislature should commission a comprehensive independent study, convene hearings and legislate accordingly to ensure that state law and related regulations safeguard public health.
Independence, rather than assessments through a body that is an organ of the state's political apparatus, is the best way to ensure that the health study is comprehensive, disinterested and in the broad public interest.
7. Eleanor Fairchild and Daryl Hannah Arrested over Eminent Domain-Keystone Pipeline, Texas
Yesterday in Texas, 78 yr. old Eleanor Fairchild was arrested - ON ELEANOR'S OWN LAND, along with Daryl Hannah.
Why? TransCanada took some of Eleanor's land - by eminent domain - to build a pipeline. Yes a foreign corporation was allowed by Texas gov't. to use eminent domain AGAINST a citizen of the US.
News Article
Hannah and landowner Eleanor Fairchild were standing in front of heavy equipment in an attempt to halt construction of the Keystone XL pipeline on Fairchild’s farm in Winnsboro, a town about 100 miles east of Dallas. They were arrested for criminal trespassing and taken to the Wood County Jail.
In August, a court in Paris, Texas, ruled that the Canadian energy company has the right to build a pipeline on private land despite widespread opposition by landowners. The transnational corporation is exploiting a loophole in Texas’ oil and gas regulation, according to the New York Times.
In Texas, if a company qualifies as a “common carrier” the state allows it to condemn land without the consent of land owners, a clear violation of the Fifth Amendment, which state “nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.”
As the founders knew, property ownership is a natural and unalienable right. This is spelled out in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. In 1766, English jurist Sir William Blackstone wrote that there are three natural rights: the right to personal security, the right to personal liberty, and the right to private property. In America, circa 2012, we have mostly lost the sense of this and have allowed the state to steal our private property under “eminent domain” without much of a fuss.”
8. Groups Call For Legislators to Revoke Act 13
From Sierra Club
The Campaign for Clean Water coalition, which includes the Sierra Club and Clean Water Action, on October 2 called for the Pennsylvania legislature to revoke the Marcellus shale gas Act 13 and restore the rights of local governments to control oil and gas operations. Joining the call in Harrisburg for revocation of Act 13 was Sen. Jim Ferlo (D-Pittsburgh).
The groups unveiled a 20-foot “Scroll of Shame” in the Capitol Rotunda listing all the legislators who voted for Act 13 this past February.
Photo by Phil Coleman
Tracy Carluccio, Deputy Director, Delaware Riverkeeper Network, stated, “Act 13 is one of the worst pieces of environmental legislation to be passed in Pennsylvania and speaks volumes about whose interests the majority of the Legislature and the Governor are protecting. It’s clear the industry tried to take over the Commonwealth by removing municipal rights but communities are fighting back…
The groups unveiled a 20-foot “Scroll of Shame” in the Capitol Rotunda listing all the legislators who voted for Act 13 this past February.
“We believe that the people of Pennsylvania deserve to know who stood up for Pennsylvania’s public health and the environment, and who supported the out of state drillers. Our “Scroll of Shame” lists every Representative and Senator who voted YES on Act 13, thereby voting against the public interest and for increased profits for the drillers,” said Jeff Schmidt, Director of Sierra Club’s Pennsylvania Chapter. He continued, “During the November 6 General Election, voters should remember what action their state legislators took on Act 13, and hold them accountable. We need a General Assembly that puts people ahead of polluters.”
Sierra Club, PennEnvironment, Conservation Voters of PA, and Clean Water Action have published a Marcellus Scorecard ranking on their votes on Act 13. The Scorecard is available at:
Myron Arnowitt, PA State Director for Clean Water Action, stated, “As we talk with voters this year, we are finding that many are shocked to see that our state lawmakers have ignored the needs of their local communities over the needs of the oil and gas industry. It is common sense that towns should be able to keep drilling, pipelines, and waste pits out of residential neighborhoods and away from schools. The passage of Act 13 showed that this legislature is completely out of touch with the reality of gas drilling in this state. Clean Water Action can no longer support legislators who failed such a simple test.”
9. PA Health Secretary, Dr Avila, Resigns
October 4, 2012 - Pennsylvania Health Secretary Dr. Eli Avila stepped down from Gov. Tom Corbett's Cabinet. Avila becomes the third senior member of the Corbett administration to leave in the last several months, following Corbett's first chief of staff and legislative secretary.
Avila also advocated keeping track of potential health impacts of natural gas drilling. In 2011, Avila told a governor's advisory commission that creating an official state registry of people who complain about adverse health impacts could help "refute or verify claims that the public health is being impacted by drilling in the Marcellus Shale." The state House of Representatives approved $2 million to help create such a registry as part of a bill to regulate the rapid growth of natural gas exploration, but the money was stripped during last-minute negotiations between GOP legislative leaders and the Republican administration.
10. Gas Research Contract with Penn State Axed by Industry
"The Marcellus Shale Coalition, an industry group, canceled a research contract with Penn State University because two professors declined to participate. The decision follows a formal academic complaint questioning a former professor’s 2009 report on the economic impact of shale gas drilling. which did not disclose industry funding.
The Responsible Drilling Alliance in Williamsport filed the complaint in September with the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, claiming the report exaggerated economic benefits by projecting the industry could generate 175,000 jobs annually in Pennsylvania by 2020."
Bogle, a retired Lycoming College art professor, said the group believes the initial report was little more than corporate cheerleading under a Penn State banner.
“They dropped it into Harrisburg when the severance tax debate was going on. It was part of the policy decision that was enacted in favor of the gas industry and against the best interests of the commonwealth,” Bogle said.
11. Nationwide, Two-thirds of Frack Disclosures Omit 'Secrets'
Mike Soraghan, E&E reporter
EnergyWire: Wednesday, September 26, 2012
Two out of every three times oil and gas companies have publicly disclosed the chemicals in their hydraulic fracturing fluid, they've left something out.
At least one chemical was kept secret in 65 % of fracking disclosures by companies that said they needed to protect confidential business information, according to a review of PIVOT Upstream Group's D-Frac database done for EnergyWire.
"It's outrageous that citizens are not getting all the information they need about fracking near their homes," said Amy Mall, who tracks drilling issues for the Natural Resources Defense Council. "Companies should not be able to keep secrets about potentially dangerous chemicals they're bringing into communities.
Companies say they spend millions of dollars researching and developing new formulations of frack fluid and shouldn't have to give away their secret recipes.
Environmentalists and others suspect that companies cite "trade secret" information when they simply don't want to disclose the toxic chemicals they have pumped underground. They say the oil and gas industry gets preferential treatment over other industries because state oil and gas officials allow drillers to claim trade secret protection without oversight.”
Trade secrets by state
State Total entries Trade secrets Percentage
Alaska 3 3 100%*
Michigan 10 10 100%
Mississippi 2 2 100%
Utah 658 619 94%
New Mexico 695 586 84%
California 278 223 80%
Ohio 53 41 77%
Arkansas 1,244 948 76%
Montana 83 61 73%
Texas 8,916 6,551 73%
Wyoming 960 699 73%
North Dakota 804 544 68%
Kansas 38 25 66%
Oklahoma 927 561 61%
Louisiana 864 443 51%
Colorado 3,652 1,832 50%
Pennsylvania 1,526 579 38%
West Virginia 169 16 9%
Alabama 54 0 0%
Virginia 65 0 0%
TOTAL 21,001 13,743 65%
Source: Pivot Upstream's D-Frac database, which draws information from and other sources.
* 23 other entries for Alaska are still being entered into the D-Frac Database. Each includes a trade secret claim.
12. Who is Making the Decisions on Community Drilling? A Small Percentage of Residents
Marcellus Shale: Land Ownership, Local Voice, and the Distribution of
Lease & Royalty Dollars
Timothy W. Kelsey, Alex Metcalf, and Rodrigo Salcedo July 18, 2012
Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences
A link to the full report can be found at:
Here are some some excerpts from the concluding section of the report:
The GIS analysis indicates that ownership of the land in the Pennsylvania counties with the most Marcellus drilling activity is concentrated in a relatively small share of residents, and in owners from outside the county. The majority of residents of these counties together own little of the total land area, and so have relatively little ‘voice’ in the critical leasing decisions which affect whether
and how Marcellus shale drilling will occur in their county. Half of the resident landowners in the counties together only control 1.1 percent of the land area, and renters have no ‘voice’ at all. Rather it is the top 10 percent of resident landowners, plus outside landowners (both public and private), who are able to make the major leasing decisions that affect the rest of the community.
The analysis furthermore indicates that a majority of lease and royalty income from Marcellus shale development will go to a relatively small share of the resident population in these counties, with much of the remainder going to others outside the counties. Almost half (48.9 percent) of the lease and royalty dollars in these counties will go to the top ten percent of local landowners, while 39.8 percent will go to the public sector or non-resident landowners. The remaining 11.3 percent of lease and royalty income will be divided between the bottom 90 percent of local landowners.
The decisions by non-resident owners and by the relatively small share of residents who own the majority of land thus can have profound implications for the quality of life for everyone else in the community.
13. State Parks Director John Norbeck Stepping Down—Does it Mean Drilling Will Begin In Our State Parks?
Under Norbeck's leadership, the state parks increased visitation and won a gold medal national award for being the best-managed park system in the United States.
Environmentalists and advocates for the state parks fear Norbeck's abrupt departure could be a sign that the Corbett administration is preparing to open the park gates to drilling rigs to tap natural gas under PAs popular park system; Norbeck is known to be an opponent of drilling in the state parks.
Sources with knowledge of the situation said Norbeck was forced out last week by DCNR Deputy Secretary Ellen Ferretti. When Ferretti, a former regional president of the Pennsylvania Environmental Council, was appointed last year, the administration said her duties would include working "to develop policy on issues, including Marcellus Shale oil and gas development."
This is only the most recent seismic tremor for a department some fear to be disengaging itself from the public. Late last month, Paulette Viola resigned from the Citizens Advisory Council claiming changes under the Corbett administration made it impossible for the council to "effectively and efficiently meet the spirit of the law or its responsibility to the public."
Viola has alleged a death by strangulation for the advisory council. She said the council has lost its independence as an advisory body, has lost its executive director and its secretary, has had its budget disproportionately slashed and has been slowly starved of information and greeted with a "hostile atmosphere created by the administration for public input."
Viola told the Patriot-News she believed what's happening to the council goes well beyond budget concerns.
"We were provided information that the Secretary believed we acted outside our jurisdiction," she said. "He suggested that we were only to comment on things in DCNR and not on resources in Pennsylvania in general." Since its creation, the primary concern of the council, Viola said, has always been effective public input on policy issues. That mission, she said, is now in jeopardy.
14. Cabot’s Own Methodology Links Tainted Water Wells to Gas Fracking
Methane in two Pennsylvania water wells has a chemical fingerprint that links it to gas produced by fracking, evidence that such drilling can pollute drinking water. The data, collected by the EPA, are significant because the composition of the gas --its isotopic signature -- falls into a range Cabot Oil & Gas Corp. had identified as that of the Marcellus Shale, which it tapped through fracking.
The EPA data falls squarely in the Marcellus space” established by Cabot’s scientists, said Rob Jackson, an environmental scientist at Duke University. That evidence backs up his findings linking gas drilling and water problems in the town of Dimock, applying the very methodology that Cabot established to try to debunk it, he said.
15. Chesapeake Energy Violated Clean Water Act --W VA
Chesapeake Energy pleaded guilty in federal court to three violations of the Clean Water Act, admitting it had dumped 60 tons of crushed stone and gravel into the Blake Fork stream in West Virginia on three different occasions in 2008. One of the dumps obliterated a natural waterfall, federal officials said.
The U.S. Attorney's office said contractors hired by Chesapeake discharged gravel from dump trucks into Blake Fork when developing access roads to a gas-drilling site in Wetzel County, which borders southwestern Pennsylvania. Each violation carries a $200,000 fine, so Chesapeake will pay a total of $600,000. The company will also be placed on probation and supervised by the court for two years.
16. Judge Rejects Binghamton’s Fracking Ban--NY
A court has struck down a moratorium on natural gas drilling in Binghamton, N.Y., yet both sides are claiming victory. Binghamton, in Broome County, is among dozens of municipalities that have enacted bans and moratoriums blocking high-volume hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, a gas extraction process that is under consideration by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s administration. Two previous court decisions have upheld the rights of municipalities to determine whether to allow fracking within their borders and use their zoning laws to ban it.
But in an order signed on Tuesday, a state Supreme Court justice, Ferris D. Lebous, said that a moratorium adopted in December in Binghamton “fails to meet the criteria for a properly enacted moratorium” and so was invalid. In passing the ordinance, the city did not invoke zoning laws but rather used its police powers to protect the health and welfare of its citizens.
17. More on Pavillion Water Testing
New groundwater testing in Wyoming shows lower levels of the carcinogen benzene than what the EPA reported when it linked contaminants in two water wells to fracking, but only one well was tested this time.
Last year's testing by the EPA showed benzene at almost 50 times the recommended EPA limit. Benzene, however, is not among the chemicals the EPA pointed to last year in making the link to hydraulic fracturing, commonly known as fracking.
The new data released by the U.S. Geological Survey shows benzene at 3 percent of the recommended EPA limit. This year's tests and the previous tests aren't an apples-to-apples comparison, however. Researchers this time around decided they couldn't get enough water for a reliable sample from one of the wells the EPA drilled to test for pollution. That low flowing well had the very high benzene level. In the other well — the one researchers relied on for this year's testing — any amount of benzene in the groundwater tested was too small to be detected last year. In that sense, the results for benzene this year are in line with last year's.
The results from this year's testing generally are "consistent with ground water monitoring data previously released," EPA spokeswoman Alisha Johnson said by email.
Wyoming Gov. Matt Mead also said the state would need more time to review the data gathered in collaboration with the USGS, Wyoming, the EPA and two American Indian tribes.
Read more:
And from the Bloomberg Report:A retest of water in Pavillion, Wyoming, found evidence of many of the same gases and compounds that the Environmental Protection Agency used to link contamination there to hydraulic fracturing, the first finding of that kind.
A U.S. Geological Survey report on its water testing of one monitoring well near the rural Wyoming town -- where some residents complain that gas drilling and hydraulic fracturing contaminated their drinking supplies -- identified levels of methane, ethane, diesel compounds and phenol, which the EPA had also identified in its report last year.
The latest data are “generally consistent,” with the agency’s finding, Alisha Johnson, an EPA spokeswoman, said in an e-mail. The USGS said it didn’t interpret the results, which were given to state officials.
The driller, Encana Corp. (ECA), said it’s not responsible for the pollutants in the water.